By Kenny Ausubel, CEO & Co-Founder of Bioneers

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In this address from the Bioneers 2020 Conference, Bioneers CEO & Co-Founder Kenny Ausubel discusses the converging awakenings that took place in 2020 and how we can use what we’ve learned to move forward.

I’d like to talk with you about the upside of the downside.

There’s a supreme poetic justice in a virus hacking a rogue civilization on a collision course with nature and the human experiment. You can’t gaslight a virus. The ground truth of our biological interdependence with the natural world has disrupted the delusion of our separation from the web of life and each other. …


The Ministry for the Future is the latest novel by legendary science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson. In this interview with Bioneers Senior Producer J.P. Harpignies, Robinson discusses the inspiration for this book: a remarkable vision for climate change over the coming decades. Note: The text below is an edited version of the actual interview.

J.P. HARPIGNIES: Stan, was your most recent book, The Ministry for the Future, a departure for you? …


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Foreword from Alexis Bunten, Indigeneity Program:

Indigeneity is a Native-led program within Bioneers that shares Indigenous solutions to our most pressing social and environmental issues. We welcome all people to re-indigenize by learning from Indigenous teachings and the experiences of your ancestors. Maija West and I have had many conversations about the healing lessons we each gained by returning to the homelands of our European forbearers who immigrated to the United States and now, we explore ways to heal while sheltering in place. …


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The last time I saw Amigo Bob Cantisano was January 2019 at the Eco Farm Conference. His once imposing physical presence had grown frail from a 7-year battle with cancer, but his spirit remained big and bright. He talked about a drought resistant strawberry variety and how Kate Wolf, the iconic folk singer of the 1970’s and 80s, showed him the inspiration for her song the Lilac and the Apple Tree.

The old abandoned apple tree of the song led Bob to discover the lost botanical treasure of the Sierra foothills. 151 years ago, Felix Gillet emigrated from France to Nevada City, CA and imported agricultural and ornamental plants from 40 countries. He operated a nursery and bred and propagated hundreds of varieties of plants and became known as the Godfather of West Coast perennial agriculture. Most of the nuts, fruits, grapes, and berries that are commonly grown in the US today can be traced back to Gillet’s efforts. But the remains of his work were almost lost. Over the years, Bob and his cohort discovered unknown varieties of hundred-year-old fruit and nut trees in wooded areas and abandoned orchards–some 200 sites–took cuttings and have made them available through the Felix Gillet Institute founded by Amigo Bob and his wife Jennifer Bliss. …


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In the third day of the Bioneers 2020 Conference, speakers and panelists discussed the power of individuals to create widespread change, and the intensification of that power through bridging divides.

“What I advocate for is that we begin with short bridges, and at the same time we pay attention to structure and culture,” said Director of the Othering and Belonging Institute john a. powell. “We engage in a practice that centers our body, centers our mind, centers our heart. But we also recognize that we’re a part of the world. It’s an iterative process. It’s not one before the other. …


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After years of commodifying and industrializing the human experience, our culture has shifted from relational to transactional. People are increasingly finding it easier to imagine an end to our world rather than the beginning of a new alternative.

One of the people daring to envision a new future is Woody Tasch. Founder of Slow Money, a nonprofit organization dedicated to catalyzing the flow of capital to local food systems, Tasch is reimagining what it means to reinvest in people through the development of sustainable agriculture.

In his latest book, “AHA! Fake Trillions, Real Billions, Beetcoin and the Great American Do-Over,” Tasch outlines a roadmap of systemic change through reimagining the role of capital and philanthropy in our society. The tangible impacts of investing capital into local agriculture can guide us toward affecting profound changes in our world. …


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This article contains the content from the 12/09/2020 Bioneers Pulse newsletter. Sign up here to get the newsletter straight to your inbox!

Weekend Two of the Bioneers Conference is just a couple days away, and we’re profoundly grateful to be able to come together in community and shine a light on pathways forward.

We invite you to this virtual gathering, where innovative thought leaders will uplift solutions on embracing Indigenous allyships, finding balance between identity and activism, building political peace through conversation, and more.

If you’re not already signed up, click here to register now — or grab yourself 20% off by telling your friends first. Attendees will have on-demand access to recordings for their registered sessions throughout the month of December! …


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The second day of the Bioneers 2020 Conference delivered essential calls to action for a brighter future paired with beautiful performances and a healthy dose of democracy.

Following are some of the ideas and takeaways Bioneers introduced at Conference Day 2.

ACTION ITEMS

Lessons, in Their Own Words:

  • “At the heart of this decolonization has to be land return. We don’t need to think about that as the last step, like after we’ve decolonized our minds, our curriculums, our statues, our books, our movies, our TV shows, our clothing, then maybe we’ll finally get to the return of land. I say let’s start with the return of land and know that it’s possible, and it’s powerful, and that it’s going to be the thing that changes the world.”

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Following are Bioneers Co-Founders Nina Simons and Kenny Ausubel’s opening remarks for the Bioneers 2020 Conference.

Since many of you are experiencing a Bioneers conference for the first time, we’d like to share a bit about where we’re coming from and who we are as a community. We are living through a transformative moment of systems crash. We’ve reached the biological high noon of a losing confrontation with our planetary home.

We’ve also reached the breaking point of the clash between democracy and plutocracy. The two are intimately related.

We stand at the threshold of a pivotal passage in the human experiment: To reimagine how to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other, and future generations. …


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The first day of the Bioneers 2020 Conference, presented science that opened our eyes to new possibilities along with ideas and inspiration for transitioning into a new year with strength, perseverance and an unwavering insistence upon amplifying underrepresented voices in important conversations.

“You have power,” said activist and organizer LaTosha Brown. “How can you use your agency, our collective power, to make the change that we all deserve?”

Following are some of the ideas and takeaways Bioneers introduced on day 1 of the 2020 Conference.

ACTION ITEMS

Lessons, In Their Own Words:

  • “The complexity of the world’s challenges today is so vast that they can be solved only through extensive interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration and a spectrum of approaches, cultural perspectives, and ideas.”

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Revolution from the Heart of Nature.

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